MICHAEL Appleton says his first win as Blackpool manager has lifted a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders.
Two goals from Tom Ince, a header from Wes Thomas on his full debut and a Nouha Dicko tap-in saw the Seasiders beat bottom club Peterborough 4-1 to climb four places to 12th in the Championship.
Appleton had drawn his first four games in charge, and while he never doubted the win would come, the manager admits it’s a relief.
He said: “I’m obviously delighted. Psychologically, we needed the win.
“Everyone talks about it, don’t they? The more people talk about it, the more it becomes a problem.
“I have to say, within the four walls of the dressing room, there were no doubts in our minds.
“We’ve been delighted with the performances, except the first half against Watford. It was a matter of time.”
Blackpool struggled in the first half at London Road against a very lively Peterborough side.
But, after riding the storm, Appleton’s men grew in stature and eventually won with ease.
The Pool boss added: “The scoreline certainly reflects the second half. I said to the players they earned the right to play like they did in the second half because they were solid in the first.
“We got the goals our play in the second half deserved and we probably deserved more.
“When the six minutes of added time were shown, we were the ones who looked very fit and strong. We didn’t want the game to end.”
Appleton highlighted Pool’s defence as his top priority when he arrived at Bloomfield Road from Portsmouth, and he will be delighted by his side’s defending in the past two games.
Only a lapse of concentration against Birmingham last Tuesday prevented a clean sheet. And that’s exactly what happened again on Saturday, when the usually reliable Alex Baptiste misplaced a back-pass right into the path of Posh striker Dwight Gayle.
Appleton said: “It’s one of those where you don’t have to say much to Baps about it.
“I take pride in being solid and it should have been a clean sheet. Baps knows that and the rest of the squad know that.”
“I’ve said to the players that it doesn’t happen again. I’m not just saying that to Baps, but that doesn’t happen again.
“It’s a lack of concentration but he had a fantastic gam apart from that.”